|The City Which Has Foundations
A Vision for the Mission and Strategy of the Worldview Alliance
|By Boyd W. Morris||June 2004|
"By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign
country... for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose
builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:9, 10)
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the
living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of
angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born who are
registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just
men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the
blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel." (Hebrews 12:22-24)
"The Alliance is dedicated to leading a
Reformation-minded revival of our churches, the socio-political
reconstruction of our nation and the moral reform of our citizens
according to a biblical worldview. The goal of this mission is to have
our nation function as "one nation under God," as implicitly stated in
the Constitution, with all areas of social life operating under
There are five points in this mission statement.
| ||The five main points in
the Mission Statement
each point proposes
each point addresses
||"the moral reform of citizens according to the biblical worldview."
||A confessional approach to the interpretation of Scripture
||"to have our nation function as 'one nation under God,' as implicitly stated
in the Constitution"
||A covenantal view for all of society
||"with all areas of social life operating under Biblical-based ethics"
||An ethical standard for all of life based in Scripture
||"a reformation-minded revival of our churches"
||A reformational vision for the church
||"the socio-political reconstruction of our nation"
||A transformational vision for the nations
The Alliance champions a confessional, covenantal, ethical,
reformational and transformational view of the nature and mission of
the church in contrast to a liberal, pietistic, antinomian, secular and
humanistic view. These terms are defined on the following page.
Two Contrasting Views of the Church
Five reasons why the church does not operate according to the biblical worldview.
Five characteristics of the church when she operates according to the biblical worldview.
Liberalism holds that
Scripture is at best authoritative only in those areas to which it
speaks directly. This view denies the systematic relevancy and final
authority of Scripture in all areas of thought and life. By
implication, those holding to such a view are no longer able to defend
the inerrancy of Scripture. Denial of Scripture's comprehensive
relevancy is the root of liberalism while denial of inerrancy is but
its fruit. (Gen. 3:4-5)
The church makes God's
interpretation of all things her own, restating in word and deed what
Christ has originally stated as He speaks infallibly in Scripture.
Scripture speaks of all things because it reveals God's own worldview
or interpretation of all things. In making this worldview our own we
truly declare Christ to be Lord of all. (Ps. 36:9; Matt. 4:4; 16:15-18;
Jn. 7:16-18, 24; 1 Jn. 2:20)
Pietism makes individual
regeneration the goal of salvation, compromising the gospel in order to
win acceptance of it. In pietism legalism replaces biblical law,
democratic or autocratic ideology replaces theocratic social theory and
libertarian freedom replaces covenantal accountability. (Matt. 23:15,
The church administers the
keys of the kingdom as the preeminent government on the planet (not by
means of political force, but by testifying to the truth), discipling
its members in covenantal accountability to the biblical worldview in
all areas of thought and life. (Is. 2:2-4; Ps. 110:1-3; Matt. 5:17-20;
16:18-19; Jn. 18:36-37)
(meaning "against the law") denies that the best cure for the legalism
of men is the law of God. This view invades the church when she fails
to heed the words of Christ to not even begin to think that He came to
abolish the Law, but that He came to fulfill (i.e., confirm, restore)
it. All attempts to apply any part of Scripture to any matter without
taking the jot and the tittle of the least of the commandments into
account destroys the self-authenticating context of Scripture, leaving
the church culturally irrelevant and believers as less than conquerors.
In reaction to this, antinomianism inevitably leads the church into
inappropriately employing coercive power to enforce legalistic
standards upon its own members and, if it can, upon society as a whole.
Antinomianism holds that might makes right in contrast to the biblical
philosophy that right makes might. (Matt. 5:17-20; 20:25-28; Jn.
Christ commissions His church to
bring every thought captive to obedience to Himself because it is He
Himself, not any principle that exists above or independent of God, Who
is the Author and Standard of truth. Therefore to know anything truly
about the Creator and His creation requires knowing Christ as Redeemer.
Attempts to acquire knowledge independently (i.e., outside of a
relationship with God) is the essence of original sin. While love for
Christ and others is the motivation for obedience and discipleship, the
Law is the standard. Likewise, just as the Holy Spirit is the power of
our sanctification, so the law is the pattern of our sanctification.
This is so because the exhaustive detail of the Law continues to have
abiding validity since all aspects of the Old Covenant law remain
morally binding in the New Covenant era except for those aspects which
are rescinded or modified by Scripture itself. (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:22;
Prov. 1:7; Matt.; 28:18-20; Jn. 5:39; 14:6; Rom. 8:4; 12:1-2; 2 Cor.
10:4-6; Col. 2:3)
the worldview that believers are systematically discipled into whenever
the church governs herself democratically or monarchially because both
of these forms of governing elevate human authority and the traditions
of men above the word of God. As Christ demonstrated to Israel 2000
years ago, He destroys and replaces such apostate ecclesiastical
institutions with new wineskins. (Matt. 21:43; 26:64; Mk. 7:8-9; Jn.
The church is a holy
nation commissioned by Christ to replace the world system with God's
world system - the kingdom of God. As a covenant community, the church
teaches the biblical worldview, not just through instruction, but also
through ceremony in worship and through the accountability of church
discipline (or government) where all human authority and tradition is
placed under Scripture (sola Scriptura). (Gen. 1:26-28; Matt. 21:43;
28:18-20; 1 Pet. 2:9)
Secularism invades the
church when she operates in terms of the secular-sacred split - the
view that Scripture speaks with final authority only to certain areas
of thought and life. This produces a retreatist, sub-culture
Christianity where believers think and act just like the world, but do
so within the sub-cultural "safety" of groups comprised of Christians
only (i.e., most Christian schools, youth groups, etc.). (Jn. 19:15)
As a holy nation, the
church is the world's leading catalyst for the establishment and
extension of Christian civilization. Christ calls His church to be
proactively kingdom-cultural rather than sub-cultural or just
counter-cultural, bringing every thought captive to the obedience of
Christ. When the church as a city on a hill models the kingdom, then
all nations will voluntarily come to be taught God's word in all areas
of life. (Ps. 110:3; Isa. 2:2-4; 2 Cor. 10:4-5; Heb. 12:22-24)
At a citywide or regional level we may dare to imagine the
Worldview Alliance accomplishing its mission by means of a unified
strategy with three parts:
- Establish local chapters in a city or region. Chapters may be
established in one of two ways: 1) By forming individuals into entirely
new groups or 2) by inviting existing groups of various ministries and
congregations to join the Alliance.
- Hold citywide or regional catalytic events (i.e., conferences,
etc.) sponsored by local chapters in which Worldview Alliance speakers,
member organizations, etc. converge.
- Link people into various worldview forums before, during and
after a catalytic event in order to further envision, equip and empower
them to either join an existing chapter or start a new one.
These are the three basic components of any movement: local groups
who implement the vision, catalytic events that proclaim the vision and
various kinds of forums to develop the vision. Each works best when
they work together as three parts of one strategy.
Implement the Vision
- Globally. Chapters are local expressions of a global movement.
- Citywide. Chapters have a citywide (or regional) vision and
therefore seek to work in a coordinated way with other chapters in
- Locally. Each chapter has its own unique vision and mission
for a particular sphere of society, a people group, a geographic area
or any combination of these.
Proclaim the Vision
- Worldview Alliance Conferences
Develop the Vision
- 12+ weeks, one-night per week Worldview Institute
- Printed materials (newsletters, magazines, etc.)
The Transformation of Nations Requires the Reformation of the Church
While our mission and strategy can and should be very specific,
measurable and limited, our vision can be no smaller than Christ's
vision for His church. Therefore as we engage in our mission and
strategy, let us keep the following vision before us:
- Any "socio-political reconstruction of our nation" (or of any
nation) will happen only through "a reformation-minded revival of our
churches." For it takes a nation (i.e., the church) to disciple a
- Such a "reformation-minded revival of our churches" will
happen only through a covenantal and confessional recovery of the
biblical worldview. For it takes the biblical worldview for the church
to think of herself and govern herself as a nation.
- Such a recovery of the biblical worldview will happen, not
just through instruction, but by church reformation in the areas of
worship and church government. For it takes all three forms of teaching
to accomplish "the moral reform of citizens according to the biblical
"Moral Reform... to the Biblical Worldview" requires more than just instruction
|Teaching individuals and nations to observe all that Christ has commanded happens in three ways
|The three main roles of the Levites in Israel
(Lev. 10:11; Deut. 17:18; 31:9-13; 33:10; 2 Chron. 17:7-9; Neh. 8:9)
composers and musicians
(1 Chron. 15:16-24; 25:1-7)
|Officers and Judges|
(1 Chron. 23:4; 26:29-32;
2 Chron. 19:8-11)
|Scriptures describing the three main activities that take place in Jerusalem
||"For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
||"Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to the
Lord your GodÉin the place where the Lord chooses to put His name."
(Deut. 16:2; cf. 16:16-17)
||"For thrones are set there for judgment, the thrones of the house of David." (Ps. 122:5)|
|An illustration from how people are trained in the military
|The outline of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians
||Instruction through the ministry of the word
(I Cor.. 1:10-4:21)
||Administration of the sacraments
(I Cor. 5:1-6:20)
||Accountability through the church's court-enforced boundaries
(I Cor. 7:1-16:2)|
|How Christians in The Belgic Confession of 1561 described the marks of the church
||"The marks by which the true church is known are these: If the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached therein..."
||"...if she maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as instituted by Christ..."
||"...if church discipline is exercised in punishing of sin."|
A Citywide Vision for the Reformation of our Churches
Let us dedicate ourselves to a citywide vision for championing a
reformation-minded revival of our churches that will lead to the
transformation of our nation. Scripture already gives us a picture of
what this looks like - a city set on a hill where God dwells with men
(Rev. 21:3). This imagery is powerful and effective for simply and
quickly communicating the vision of the Worldview Alliance.
Therefore, in line with this vision, let us promote local
chapters, catalytic events and worldview forums, especially at the
citywide level. Let us make it our goal to see growing numbers of
believers who, like Peter, confess well, making God's interpretation
their own (Matt. 16:17). It is precisely this confessional approach
(i.e., "according to the biblical worldview") in all areas of life that
is the "rock" upon which Christ is building His church (Matt. 16:18a).
And it is by means of the church that God has ordained that the gates
of hell shall not prevail (Matt. 16:18b). Let us therefore dedicate
ourselves to mobilizing faithful gatekeepers on the walls of our
cities, covenant-keepers able to use the keys of the kingdom (Matt.
16:19) to lock shut the gates of hell while proclaiming, "Lift up your
heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the
King of glory shall come in" (Ps. 24:7). Let us occupy every area of
thought and life in this way until He comes.
Three Complementary Ways of Looking at the Role of the Church in the Transformation of the City into a Dwelling of God with Men
| Primacy of Function
This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven! (Gen. 28:17)
The church has a unique and primary role in the
coming of God's kingdom. In this sense the Scripture pictures the
church as a city on a hill, a temple (template) in the middle of the
city whose mission is to model what the kingdom of God looks like in
the context of community. In this sense the church is a beachhead, a
pilot plot or mustard seed of the kingdom.
| Equality of Value
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem. (Is. 62:6)
We may also speak of the institutional church as
only one sphere of society among many. All occupations (gateways) are
of equal value in God's kingdom since all it takes to lose a city to an
enemy is to leave just one gateway unguarded. Therefore watchmen
(covenant-keepers) on the walls in every sphere play an equally
valuable role in guarding the city.
| Goal of History
You are...royal priesthood, a holy nation. (1 Pet. 2:9)
John says that in the city in which "the
tabernacle of God is with men" (Rev. 21:3) that he "saw no temple"
(Rev. 21:22). The whole city has become the dwelling of God with men.
In a reversal of the gateway that was slammed shut in Adam's face in
Genesis 3:24, the gates of this city shall never be shut (Rev. 21:25).
"There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles" (Rev. 21:27).